Thistle - Carduus acanthoides
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Plumeless thistle is a winter annual or biennial herb 3-10 dm tall with
a stout fleshy taproot. The stems are freely branching with spiny wings
extending to the flowering heads. The leaves are alternate, deeply lobed
or pinnatifid with spiny margins. They are sessile, decurrent, elliptic
to lanceolate or oblong in shape. The blade surface may be glabrous or
pubescent. The flowers are purple in discoid heads surrounded by involucral
bracts < 2 mm wide. The heads are erect, single or clustered at the
ends of the branches. The pappus is composed of numerous capillary bristles
1-1.2 cm long.
The plant rarely flowers the first year. The second year, flowering occurs
from May - August. It is infrequent to locally abundant in pastures, stream
valleys, fields, roadsides, and waste places.
The spiny plant invades fields and pastures competing with native species
or forage crops.
Links to more information
Website, video, and graphics by Rob Nelson
For more information on this plant or management please contact US Army Corp of Engineers